COPENHAGEN - Denmark’s prime minister sent invitations yesterday asking 191 world leaders to attend next month’s UN climate conference in Copenhagen, saying their presence was pivotal to its success.
Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen will chair the talks, which are aimed at reaching a new global pact to curb emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
“Your personal attendance is a pivotal contribution to a successful outcome,’’ Loekke Rasmussen said in the letter, dispatched through diplomatic channels.
At least 40 leaders have said they plan to attend the conference, which follows two years of tough negotiations led by the United Nations to draft a climate change agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
They include Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende of the Netherlands.
President Obama has said he may come if his presence would help clinch a deal. US climate delegate Jane Lubchenco said yesterday in Copenhagen that Obama believes an agreement next month is critically important and that he is actively considering attending the meeting.